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Epic Tech IPOs: Triumphs, a Travesty, and a Tragedy

Epic Tech IPOs Triumphs a Travesty and a Tragedy Businessweek


Eagle Computer, June 8, 1983

Eagle was one of the hottest sellers of PC “clones”—the desktop computers built with the same architecture as IBM’s machines. And its IPO briefly made company President Dennis Barnhart a millionaire. Then tragedy struck and Eagle became a cautionary tale for fleeting IPO fortunes. Hours after the IPO, Barnhart, 40, was killed when his red Ferrari crashed through a guard rail and into a ravine a block from company headquarters. A yacht salesman who was riding with him survived. Trading in Eagle’s shares halted. But the car crash didn’t kill Eagle; that was accomplished later by a sustained IBM legal assault against the clone makers.

Stashed in: History of Tech!, Bill Gates

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That Eagle story is a sad story.

I do love that photo of Bill Gates.

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